Revolution vodka bar founders launch new company: Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod, founders of Revolution vodka bar operator Inventive Leisure, have launched a new company, Flying Pig and Lobster in partnership with celebrity chef Simon Rimmer. The company has acquired its first site, an assignment on the lease on The Elephant pub and Bubble Room in Woolton Village, Liverpool, a Star Pubs & Bars site. The trio has been exploring two potential areas for development for the last six months – traditional pubs and top-end casual dining. The acquisition will allow Flying Pig and Lobster to explore both ideas in a single site – the Bubble Room is a stand-alone 120-cover dining space in a brick-built barn behind the Elephant pub. Ellis told Propel: “We believe traditional pubs offer a great opportunity for experienced multiple operators such as ourselves. The major pub companies have some fantastic properties in great locations that need exciting retail ideas combined with operational know-how. We also think the casual dining market would benefit from a concept which adds a bit of old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll to its offer – right through from its design and food to its service and entertainment, a sort of new version of Hard Rock Café or Lobster and Burger with a bit of rock ‘n’ roll music. Our acquisition in Liverpool of an already successful pub and restaurant in Woolton Village allows us to develop both ideas. The pub will offer real ale, craft beers and classic cocktails, locally sourced classic British pub food, alongside wood-fired Neopolitan pizza inside comfortable, slightly quirky design with a definite local feel. The dining hall will combine American comfort food from the ‘Deep South’, US craft beers and cocktails with live music being central to the laid back atmosphere. We aim to work with our new team, the local community and Star Pubs & Bars to bring our ideas to life in a way that everybody can appreciate and enjoy. The restaurant will launch in the Spring of 2014 with the pub enhancements following on shortly afterwards.” The founders have undertaken extensive research in the southern US states of Texas, Alabama and Tennessee, exploring barbeque food, crab-shacks and road-side steak-houses, which has provided the inspiration for the menu at the proposed top-end casual dining concept. Ellis told Propel that the company is 99% certain of the name of its casual dining concept, but will do a little more due diligence before it is unveiled. Talks have taken place with Star Pubs & Bars and Enterprise Inns over possible sites within their estates for the new company to develop its offer. “We have got a number of sites ready to drop into either category but will probably hold off signing until next summer as we develop both ideas at the Woolton site. But we would like to get at least one more site open before Christmas 2014.” Ellis and Macleod developed Inventive Leisure, founded in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1991, into one of Europe’s top 200 food and beverage companies by turnover, which currently exceeds £100m. They are still the largest individual shareholders in Inventive Leisure, now led by Mark McQuater, with a stake in excess of 25%. Ellis left the board of Inventive in October after 22 years at the company. “If we can grow Flying Pig and Lobster to half the size of Inventive twice as quick, I’ll be happy,” Ellis told Propel. Rimmer appears on television in Channel Four’s Sunday Brunch and operates two restaurants, The Greens vegetarian restaurant in West Didsbury, opened in 1990 and Earle in Hale, opened in 2006 – the latter was named as top celebrity restaurant to eat in by Observer Food Monthly.